Goat Rodeo Strays from the Herd
All, in one manner or another, have come into the orbit of the four master musicians who spearhead the new The Goat Rodeo Sessions album. The word “eclectic” gets thrown around pretty easily in music circles, but this collaboration breaks genre barriers with genuine gusto.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is, of course, arguably the most famous classical musician in the world, but he’s long ventured beyond the standard repertoire into everything from Appalachian to Argentinean sounds. He’s the one who employed then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as his accompanist when he performed a Brahms piece on the night he received the National Medal of Arts.
Edgar Meyer has also straddled seemingly divergent worlds. A former Nashville session cat whose credits include Garth Brooks and Hank Williams, Jr., the bassist is also a classical composer of considerable repute. Stuart Duncan was a longtime member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band and, more recently, has become producer T Bone Burnett’s first-call fiddler. And mandolinist Chris Thile, the 30-year-old junior member of the foursome, has earned kudos for his work in the progressive string bands Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers.
Time with The Goat Rodeo Sessions is best spent concentrating on the music and not classifying the players. If you must file it somewhere, put it under V for Virtuosos.